If a manufacturer comes out with six different models every year, is it worth continuing to support all of them…every single year?
Unlike Apple’s ecosystem, where Apple releases a single i Phone each generation, Android is a much more open (and messy) environment.Updates to the Pixel lineup of phones is handled by Google, so they’re generally the first phones to receive the newest software when it’s released.For the rest of the pack, however, it’s a To make Android work on their hardware, device manufacturers (like Samsung, HTC, or Motorola) must write Android device drivers specifically for their phones.So every time there’s an Android update, the manufacturers have to take time adding all their fancy crap in. And, of course, some new versions of Android just come with increased hardware requirements, preventing them from working on older devices—the same is true for the i Phone (and even desktop computers).However, since there are so many Android phones, a lot lose support much earlier.But that’s also the problem: they’re both running Android Nougat.
Even though the S8 is Samsung’s current flagship, it still doesn’t have Android Oreo, which has been available for a few months now.
With the large amount of models being released, there’s little incentive to put a lot of work into updating an older model that’s been replaced by a newer one, especially when they’d rather encourage you to buy the newest model anyway.
This has gotten better over time as consumers have pushed for better support as flagship phones get more and more expensive, but we still have a long way to go for manufacturers like Samsung to support their hardware the same way Google does.
Lastly, Android smartphone manufacturers are also beholden to cell phone carriers, who can delay updates by months on their networks.
While Apple has the muscle to overrule carriers and roll out new versions of their operating system, Android phone manufacturers (mostly) do not.
Now, Google has taken a much more streamlined approach, releasing one major Android update per year and much smaller, security-focused updates once per month.